On Wednesday, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened its ninth and final virtual plenary meeting, to prepare for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) and the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). During the meeting, delegates continued text based negotiations on synthetic biology and briefly discussed the CRP on risk assessment. They then heard reports of the contact groups on marine biodiversity and invasive alien species and adopted the report of the first part of the meeting.
First, delegates finalised discussions on the CRP on synthetic biology (CBD/SBSTTA/24/CRP.8). In discussions on paragraphs touching upon, inter alia, the periodicity of the horizon scanning, the establishment of a multidisciplinary expert group, and the interlinkages between the two, delegates could not agree and the CRP was adopted with different bracketed options.
Delegates next heard a report from co-chair of the contact group on risk assessment Werner Schenkel (Germany), who together with co-chair Ntakadzni Tshidada (South Africa) had led discussions on this topic. When tabling the CRP on risk assessment (CBD/SBSTTA/24/CRP.9), SBSTTA Chair Hesiquio Benitez, asked parties to refrain from making suggestions that would re-open issues resolved in the contact group and proposed that parties adopt the text as a whole, with brackets remaining regarding unresolved issues. Following some interventions and minor amendments, the CRP was adopted with remaining brackets.
Delegates then heard the reports of the contact groups on marine biodiversity, co-chaired by Marie-May Muzungaile (Seychelles) and Matthias Steitz (Germany) and the friends of the Chair group on invasive alien species, facilitated by Senka Barudanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Chair Benitez said that since there was not sufficient time at the virtual session, the respective CRPs will be considered once SBSTTA-24 resumes as an in-person meeting. Delegates then discussed and adopted the first part of the report of the SBSTTA-24 meeting, which was then suspended to be resumed as an in-person meeting either back to back with a meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the GBF or COP15. Before the closure of the first part of the meeting at 10:16 ET (GMT-5) CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema and SBSTTA Chair Hesiquio Benitez provided brief statements on the sessions to date, constituting the first virtual negotiations of SBSTTA.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of SBSTTA-24 will be available on this page on Monday, 14 June 2021.
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